The Lost Temple of Zask Building / Landmark in The World of Cartyrion | World Anvil

The Lost Temple of Zask

There was a time our civilization was great. There was a time that our people were respected for our knowledge and our advancements. But when the gods went to war, we chose to follow the wrong ones, and so when the warring was over, our civilization was no more. Some of our cities were shaken to the ground, others simply swallowed up. Our Tale-tellers that keep the memories of our greatness alive, and and spur us on to become great once more. But we must pray that this time, wisdom will come with knowledge.
— Iruxi Teacher instructing young on the history of their race
Twenty-two hundred years ago, a great city rose out of the heart of the Feywood. It was not an Elven city, though the Elves had lived in the forest for thousands of years. This was a city of the Iruxi - the Lizardfolk. But during the Great Strife, many of the Lizardfolk followed gods that sided with the [Dark Ones during the war. When that war was over, those gods were punished and their followers on Cartyrion suffered as well. The great Iruxi city in the heart of the Feywood was swallowed up as the land beneath it sank into the newly forming swamps known as the Lizard Fens.

At the center of this city, a great temple was constructed - a temple to the Reptilar deity named Zask. Zask was a god who inspired the Reptilar to believe that their superior civilization entitled them to take what they needed or wanted from the Folk around them. The tenets of faith in Zask were simply summed up in the phrase, "Might makes right", and the priests of Zask believed in setting a good example for others to follow. The Servants of Zask were among the richest and cruelest of the Iruxi, and their temple at heart of the city was a place that was feared by all that were not of the Lizardfolk race.
Founding Date
Approximately 2000 years before the Great Strife. (4300 years ago)
Date of Ruination
The 97th year of the Great Srife (5 years before the beginning of the Common Reckoning).
Parent Location
Owning Organization


Before the temple was swallowed by the fens, it was the headquarters of the Servants of Zask - the priesthood dedicated to the Reptilar god of Domination. It was site of public and private ceremonials focused on Zask. Today, the building - what is left of it - serves little or no purpose, other than as a lair for large and dangerous swamp predators.

The temple was originally constructed as a highly stylized pyramid. The base of the structure was a steep-walled, four-sided pyramidal structure. Stone steps were cut into the faces pointing to the east and west - tradition required one to ascend the eastern steps to reach the altar at the top, then descend by the western stair when rituals were concluded. The top of the pyramid was a flat 50' by 50' area with an altar in the center. Four stone pillars held a flat 20' square stone roof over the altar.


There were numerous entrances cut into the north and south sides of the pyramid to allow access to the interior. The Servants of Zask priesthood lived inside the temple structure, and their numerous slaves and pending sacrifices were housed there as well.


The temple was first erected approximately four thousand years ago. The exact date is not known as all records of the Lizardfolk city in the Feywood - including its name - were lost when the city was consumed by the fens. For two thousand years, it served as one of the central focus points for the Iruxi of the Feywood region. The temple, and the city that surrounded it, were a scar upon the beauty of the Feywood in the eyes of the Elves.

When the Great Strife ended, and the Dark Gods who lost were imprisoned, the Alevar and their allies called upon the primal forces from which Cartyrion was built - and which continue to hold it together today - to reshape the lands themselves in order to punish the followers of those gods that made war upon the world itself. The dry land upon which the Lizardfolk city was build was collapsed down, allowing the rivers that ran through the area to spread out and turn the region into the vast swamp known today as the Lizard Fens. But they were not finished, The ground of the fens was opened up and the Temple of Zask was swallowed up by the world itself. The remainder of the city was abandoned, and in the two thousands years since, the fens and forest have reduced it to rubble.

Lately, artifacts of ancient Iruxi culture have started to appear in the marketplaces of cities like Endmere - collectible items for the very wealthy. It has been rumored that the lost city has been found, and is the source of these artifacts.

Cover image: The Inn from the Bridge over Daphinia's Stream by RPGDinosaurBob (with Flowscape)


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